Commentary: New Year's Resolutions
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There are lots of cookbooks and cooking magazines geared for different levels of cooking expertise and with 2007 just a few days away, I want to encourage and challenge you to try new recipes and new foods.  Even as a professionally trained chef, I get bored of the same recipes and ingredients and spend time flipping through cookbooks, magazines and websites for inspiration. Whole foods cooking using more fresh fruits, vegetables, tofu and fish are better for us (less salt, sugars, fats, artificial flavors and colors, etc.) and the flavors are superior to pre-packed foods.

 

I suggest creating a plan and post it on your kitchen cupboard. My plan is to reduce the amount of fat in our meals/recipes, add fish to our weekly menu, add even more whole grains and create flavorful, low fat salad dressings.  Over the next couple of months I will share with you my successes, failures and discoveries as I work at making these changes into a style of eating and not simply a “diet”.

 

Start with a couple of simple recipes that appeal to you.  Working with new recipes or changing recipes is challenging though can be done with just a little experimentation to find the right balance of flavors that your family likes:

 

  • Replace at least ½ of the light mayo in salads with non-fat plain yogurt and add fresh minced parsley and/or chives to enhance the flavor
     
  • Pick very specific times that butter is used in baked goods and cooking, otherwise spray pans with no-stick spray or use a little olive oil
     
  • Swap pan fried foods with recipes that “oven fry” foods, coat food items with corn flakes instead of flour or bread crumbs and spray food with no-stick spray instead of drizzling with melted butter
     
  • Add whole grains to your baked items by replacing at least ¼ of the all-purpose flour in baked goods, pancakes, etc. with whole wheat flour, soy flour or oat flour
     
  • Sprinkle wheat bran on top of a fresh salad, garlic bread or muffins for added whole grains 
     
  • Puree soft (silken) tofu into creamy salad dressings to add protein and reduce fat.  Remember tofu has no taste of its own but soaks up the flavor that it is added to

 

 

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